The placement of just one letter creates the difference between a break and a brake, but on the gridiron the difference is two letters – a W or an L.
Without a 100-yard rusher or passer and outgained in every offensive catgory, Dublin Coffman still easily handled Marysville 28-9 Friday night, as the Shamrocks took advantage of opportunities while the Monarchs found ways to slow their own momentum.
Marysville, still struggling to compete with the elite programs of central Ohio, found ways to kill its own momentum and dropped its seventh straight game to the Shamrocks.
“When we needed a break, we didn’t get a break,” MHS coach Brent Johnson said, before a pause. “We need to make our own breaks.”
Marysville outgained the Shamrocks 296 yards to 254 and held a 13-to-11 edge on first downs. The game, however, hinged on field position created by the kicking game, timely defensive stops and the ability to avoid crucial penalties.
While Shamrock kicker Casey Magyar blasted four of his five kickoffs into the end zone, Marysville gave up a short field on the opening boot of the game which was returned 37 yards. Three minutes later ,Mike Drennen went in motion and took a sweep around the right end for a six-yard touchdown.
Tlhe PAT was good for a 7-0 Coffman lead.
Marysville responded when Gabe Powers took a third-down handoff and broke free for a 66-yard gain before being hauled down at the Dublin 7.
MHS couldn’t match Coffman’s touchdown, as the next three plays netted one yard.
The Monarchs had to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Joe Duke to put the score at 7-3 with just over a minute left in the first quarter.
Marysville made up ground in the field position battle on the next serie.
It forced a three-and-out after pinning Coffman at the 18 on the kickoff.
With the Shamrocks punting into the wind, MHS took over at its own 42.
A few plays later, Chase Kilgore ripped off a 16-yard gain that put the Monarchs inside the Dublin 40.
On the very next play, Marysville was whistled for a chop block and set itself in a first-and-25 hole of which it was unable to dig out.
“You can’t do it,” Johnson said of the costly 15-yard infraction. “Not against a team like this.”
Marysville again held on defense, got a short punt and had good field position.
The ball exchanged hands, though, after an MHS interception.
Aided by a Marysville facemask infraction, Coffman breezed 66 yards down the field over the next two minutes.
The Rocks went into the end zone on another sweep, this time over the left side by Jameel Williamson from three yards out. The point after put the score at 14-3 with 8:17 to play until the half.
Once again, the resilient Monarchs found a bit of a spark when quarterback Nathan Morey completed a fourth-down pass to Jake Carper, moving the sticks at the Dublin 34.
Powers bulled his way for another first down before hitting pay dirt on a 15-yard run over the left side with just over a minute to play until the half.
The point after, however, was no good and Marysville trailed 14-9 at the half.
Having scored just before the intermission and possessing the ball to start the second half, Johnson was looking for a surge from his team.
“The first five minutes of the second half was very important,” he said.
But they were not important in a good way for Marysville fans.
The Shamrocks threw a blanket on any Monarch momentum by forcing punts on two consecutive Monarch possessions.
The MHS defense held and the game appeared poised to still be a one-possession game headed into the fourth quarter,.
Coffman faced fourth-and-one at the Monarch 44 with less than a minute to play in the third.
The Shamrocks’ sweep continued to the Monarchs’ undoing, as Byron Threats took a toss, headed right and cut upfield for a 44-yard TD. The PAT put the score at 21-9 as the game moved into the final quarter.
Still, the Monarchs showed heart.
Running back Ryan Kern picked up gains of nine and 10 yards as the Monarchs earned a first down inside the Shamrock 40. Looking to make it a one-score game, Marysville faced third-and-two, but took a four-yard loss on a designed run up the gut.
A fourth-down pass fell incomplete and for the first time, the steam appeared to leave the local squad.
Coffman effortlessly covered 67 yards over the next three minute.
Threats scored again on a three-yard run with 5:35 left to play. The PAT made the score 28-9 and the MHS offense went into hibernation for the rest of the game.
The loss dropped Marysville to 4-2 on the year, with Hilliard Davidson and Upper Arlington still on the horizon. Despite the sting of the loss, Johnson was certain his team would not regress in the coming weeks.
“We’re not going to let this derail us,” Johnson said. “We’re going to learn from this.”
How could Johnson be so certain?
“Belief is growing,” he said.
The Monarchs will host Westland for Homecoming on Friday.
...For the full story, select an option below.